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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on June 25, 2021
2021-06-25 21:49

The Paper: Yesterday, at the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations stationed in China visited the Exhibition on the History of the Communist Party of China (CPC) themed "Staying True to the Founding Mission". Can you give us more details? What is the significance of this event organized by the foreign ministry?

Zhao Lijian: Yesterday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi invited over 100 foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations stationed in China to visit the Exhibition on the History of the Communist Party of China (CPC) themed "Staying True to the Founding Mission". State Councilor Wang Yi said that understanding China should start with an understanding of the CPC, and what comes first in studying the Chinese history is to study the history of the CPC because without the CPC, there would be no the People's Republic of China, and without the leadership of the CPC, there would be no great success in building socialism with Chinese characteristics. The CPC is also a party that fights for the progress of humanity. At a new historical starting point, we will, together with the rest of the world, make unremitting efforts for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

The participants listened attentively to the commentaries, and stopped frequently to look carefully at the precious cultural relics, vivid pictures and artifacts representing the century-long glorious history of the CPC. From the exhibition, they learned about the historical, theoretical and practical logic of China's centenary development, and got to know more directly and deeply why the Chinese history and the Chinese people have chosen the CPC, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the independent foreign policy of peace. The envoys offered their warm congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, hailed the extraordinary achievements of the CPC, and said the governing philosophy and experience of the CPC in administrating the country are worth learning from. They believe that under the strong leadership of the CPC, China will successfully realize its second centenary goal and make new and greater contributions to world peace and development, as well as the progress of humanity. They also expressed their sincere wishes to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the CPC and further develop relations with China.

Recently, the foreign ministry co-organized with relevant authorities a series of events themed "Ambassadors Face to Face with Chinese Ministries" for foreign diplomats in China and invited them to watch the stage play named "the night of the Fragrant Hills". These activities help deepen the understanding of the founding mission of the CPC, the secret code of CPC's success and China's development and progress in various fields. We will continue to keep an open attitude and welcome friends from all over the world to learn more about the CPC and a real China in a multi-dimensional and comprehensive fashion. We will continue to create opportunities and build bridges to this end.

Macao Monthly: It is reported that on June 24, Raymond Greene, deputy head of the American Institute in Taiwan, said in a speech in Taipei that there is a fundamental change in the US-Taiwan relationship, that the US is the most important international backer of Taiwan. What is China's comment?

Zhao Lijian: We firmly reject the erroneous remarks by the US side. There is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. This is a fact based on history and jurisprudence that no one or any force can change. China has all along opposed any US attempt to elevate relations in essence or engage in official interactions with Taiwan in any form.

The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue between China and the US. The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations. The US side should earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, immediately stop using the Taiwan question as a pretext for political manipulation, discontinue official interactions and forsake its attempt to elevate substantive relations with Taiwan, lest it should further damage China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

China Daily: Tomorrow, June 26, is the UN Charter Day. We noted that the foreign ministry held the Lanting Forum on the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration of the Lawful Seat of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the United Nations today, during which Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi delivered a keynote speech. The official logo to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the PRC in the United Nations was released during the event. What message does the Chinese side hope to send through holding this event?

Zhao Lijian: The Charter of the United Nations was signed on June 26, 1945, and China was the first country to sign on the Charter. On October 25, 1971, the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758 by an overwhelming majority, which decided to restore all the rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations and recognized the representatives of the government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China in the United Nations. This is a victory for the diplomacy of the PRC, for world justice, and for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the PRC in the United Nations, we hold this event to recall the efforts made by the Chinese people to promote the development of the UN and the contribution of the Chinese nation to realizing the ideal of the United Nations. Also on this occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China, this event is held to reaffirm China's continued, full participation in UN affairs, all-out effort to safeguard the status of the United Nations, promote the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, adhere to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, hold high the banner of true multilateralism, and work together with other countries to promote peace and development for all mankind.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi shared the important efforts China have made to make the UN grow stronger at this forum. First, China has led by example in upholding international order; second, China has assumed responsibility to safeguard world peace; third, China has spared no effort to promote common development; fourth, China has made positive contributions to addressing global challenges.

State Councilor Wang Yi stressed that the international landscape is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. What we should do to avoid division, reject confrontation, maintain solidarity and conduct cooperation? The only right answer is to uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China would like to work with other countries hand in hand to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity, uphold the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind, continue to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation for a community with shared future for mankind.

Bloomberg: US President Joseph Biden issued a statement after Apple Daily ceased publishing this week. Does the foreign ministry have any comment? The second question is if you have any information on media reports that US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken may meet with Chinese official in Italy next week? Can you confirm that?

Zhao Lijian: On your first question, there is not a shred of truth in the US remarks. Relevant Chinese authorities have responded to this issue on many occasions. Here I would like to stress three points:

First, Hong Kong is a society with rule of law where everyone is equal before the law. No individual or organization is beyond the law. The action taken by the Hong Kong police against individuals and companies suspected of endangering national security in strict accordance with law is a just move to combat crime and safeguard the rule of law and social order. We firmly support the HKSAR government and police in fulfilling their duty in accordance with law and all efforts to safeguard national security and prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.

Second, the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR focuses on cracking down on a handful of anti-China, destabilizing elements in Hong Kong who seriously endanger national security. The law also protects the rights and freedoms enjoyed by the vast majority of Hong Kong residents in accordance with the law, including freedom of the press. Since the implementation of the Hong Kong-related national security law, social stability has been restored in Hong Kong, the rule of law and justice have been upheld, and the lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and foreign citizens in Hong Kong are better protected in a safer environment. This is an undeniable fact. Those accusing China of a crackdown on freedom of the press just because a certain media outlet or its person in charge is involved in the case are either feigning ignorance or confounding right and wrong with ulterior motives.

Third, Hong Kong is part of China. Hong Kong affairs fall entirely within China's internal affairs that no country, organization or individual has the right to interfere. The US side should respect the facts, stop using any pretext to shield the suspect in obstruction of the Hong Kong SAR's law enforcement, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs in any way.

On your second question, I have no information to offer you.

China Review News: According to reports, 751 unmarked graves were discovered on the grounds of a former residential school for Indigenous children in Saskatchewan, Canada on June 24. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called it "a shameful reminder of the systemic racism, discrimination, and injustice that Indigenous peoples have faced – and continue to face – in this country". Does China have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: We note reports on this, which came after a similar story on Indigenous children. With these discoveries, the dark chapter in Canada's history has been revealed more and more in front of the whole world. Calling it "a crime against humanity", Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Chief said, "The only crime we ever committed as children was being born Indigenous". This is an indictment of the Canadian government's historical debt to the Indigenous people. It also reflects the Indigenous community's helplessness in front of their present bleak conditions.

According to reports, over 150,000 Indigenous children in Canada were forced to leave their families to attend the so-called residential schools, where discipline was harsh and conditions worse. The traces of Indigenous language and culture were strictly removed. Their daily curriculum is not about learning but heavy chores. The students were physically and sexually abused and malnourished. More than 4,000 eventually died at such schools. But these schools operated for over 100 years in Canada, a country that always boasts about its democracy and civilization. The Marieval Indian Residential School, where the unmarked graves were found, wasn't closed until 1997. In 2015, after conducting six years of research, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released an authoritative report, concluding that the residential schools set up and operated by the Canadian government amounted to "cultural genocide" of aboriginal people.

Although the residential schools have been closed, the racial discrimination targeting Indigenous peoples in Canada hasn't stopped. According to statistics, Indigenous peoples are 58% more likely to be targeted by criminal acts than non-Indigenous peoples. Indigenous women are 16 times more likely to be murdered or missing than Caucasian women. Between 1980 and 2015, several thousand Indigenous women were murdered or went missing. The Canadian government had to admit that the painful and violent treatment suffered by Indigenous women constitutes genocide.

In the face of all these historical crimes, the Canadian government has been vowing to take steps to seek the truth, but without much action. With regard to the remains of 215 children we mentioned earlier, what we have seen is the Canadian government trying to shift the blame to the Catholic church. The remains were only discovered with ground-penetrating radar used in archaeology by people hired by a social organization. People had always suspected that there might be bodies buried on the grounds of the former residential school, but the Canadian government never took any action. With altogether 139 such schools for Indigenous children in Canada's vast territory, how many more crimes remain hidden underground? Nobody has the answer. We hope the Canadian government, instead of going in circles with oral apologies and superficial justice, will take stronger measures to find out the truth, ensure accountability and compensation, and adopt policies to earnestly protect the rights of Indigenous peoples.

AFP: The US has released a fact sheet and restricted imports of products they believed to be manufactured by forced labor in Xinjiang. What's the foreign ministry's response to this?

Zhao Lijian: Yesterday, I already made clear our solemn position on the US sanctions against Chinese companies based on lies and disinformation. The so-called "fact sheet" released by the US side is nothing but a sheet of Xinjiang-related lies concocted by some people in the US. China is firmly opposed to and will never accept it.

From cotton to PV, from agriculture to industry, the US uses lies as a tool and resorts to its hegemony to suppress Xinjiang's industrial development by all means with human rights as a cover. What it does is detrimental to Xinjiang people's rights to subsistence and development, and aimed to create "forced unemployment" and "forced poverty". The US, with the issuance of Withhold Release Order, is tantamount to a bandit illegally seizing others' property. Facts have proved that the US side does not care about facts and truth at all, but only wants to politicize normal economic and trade cooperation, intentionally interfere with the normal division of labor in the industrial chain and supply chain, wantonly suppress the development of Chinese companies and industries, so as to contain China's development. Neither does the US side care about the people of Xinjiang, and their true plot and sinister intention is to destabilize Xinjiang and hold back China's development.

I wonder what gives the US side the confidence and courage to release this so-called "fact sheet"? The statement on "destabilizing and fomenting unrest in China" of Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, is what we call a fact sheet of US systematic implementation of the conspiracy to contain China by disrupting Xinjiang. The lost lives of Native Americans in genocide and of African Americans in the Tulsa massacre, and the tens of thousands of African Americans who can't breathe like George Floyd and Asian Americans who suffer from anti-Asian hate, constitute another fact sheet of deep-seated racial discrimination that the US should own up to. What the US should condemn and sanction is the culprits behind these bloody human rights abuses, the reactionary forces in the US who instigate extreme xenophobia such as discrimination against African Americans, Anti-Asian hate and Islamophobia, and the hypocrites who are eager to lecture others on human rights condescendingly, use human rights as a big stick and apply double standard.

It is an undeniable fact that people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang live a peaceful and harmonious life and China's human rights cause has enjoyed vigorous development. The US side should respect the facts, stop maliciously spreading disinformation about China and stop suppressing Chinese companies based on lies. China will take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.

Shenzhen TV: Yesterday, China issued a white paper on the practice of the CPC in respecting and protecting human rights to share with the international community the CPC's historical experience in protecting and developing human rights. Could you elaborate on the significance of this white paper when there's serious prejudice and misunderstanding of China's human rights situation in some Western countries?

Zhao Lijian: On June 24, the State Council Information Office issued a white paper titled "The Communist Party of China and Human Rights Protection – A 100-Year Quest", which gives a comprehensive and systematic introduction of the CPC's philosophy and practices in respecting and protecting human rights.

The history of the past century since the founding of the CPC fully proves that without the CPC, the continuous progress of human rights cause in China would not have been possible. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has created a great miracle of respecting and protecting human rights, writing a new chapter in human rights. Over the past 100 years, the CPC has taken a people-centered approach, and applied the principle of universality of human rights to China's national conditions. The CPC considers the rights to subsistence and development to be the primary and basic rights, and believes that living a life of contentment is the ultimate human right. The CPC promotes the well-rounded development of the individual, and strives to give every person a stronger sense of gain, happiness and security. In this way, the CPC has found a path of developing human rights in a socialist country with Chinese characteristics.

I'd like to stress that China's human rights cause is consistent with our national conditions, serves our people and has achieved remarkable progress. It demonstrates that our human rights development path is viable and beneficial. China's human rights situation is at its historical best, a fact that is recognized by all those without bias. The CPC will continue to lead the Chinese people to follow the path of peaceful development, and stay committed to promoting common prosperity and safeguarding world peace. We will advance development through cooperation while promoting human rights through development. We will take an active part in international human rights affairs, contribute Chinese wisdom and solutions to global human rights governance, further the world human rights cause, and work with the rest of the world to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

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